International Project Platform Offenbach (IPPO)
»The status of atheists in America today is on a par with that of homosexuals fifty years ago.«
Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion
Five topics in one sentence: History, nations, sexual orientation, belief/non-belief, social conventions. Welcome to the IPPO.
Design cannot avoid becoming involved
Attempting to perform design work without trying to understand and operate within the relevant social framework is naïve, even detrimental. Prof. Petra Kellner and Prof. Georg-Christof Bertsch launched the IPPO at their symposium in Offenbach “Reflecting Waters” on July 4, 2007. The two professors’ interest in water as a design-related topic dates principally to the years 2007 through 2012. Mobility on a global scale was a parallel subject and was reflected in international projects, seminars, symposiums and workshops in locations such as in Helsinki, Rio de Janeiro, Delhi and Istanbul.
The IPPO as a platform
The real platform is actually a network of several dozen design professionals scattered around the world from the field of tertiary education, design and theory, as well as from other disciplines. The IPPO was initially a private initiative started by the two professors. In 2014 it became an HfG institute. The objective is an open discussion on the contradictions inherent in design, what is possible and impossible with the subject and its complexity in the new millennium.
For us, students can be teachers and professors pupils. We do not believe in safe options, we have seen too many ideologies rising and floundering, national boundaries disappearing and walls being put up. Making the constant changes in the world accessible through design and using design to help generate dignity and meaning in a democratic society is an important approach and aim.
For many years now we have been cooperating with other establishments, primarily with Escola de Desenho Industrial, Rio de Janeiro, Bezalel Acamdemy of Art and Design, Jerusalem, Istanbul Teknik Üniversitesi, Istanbul, Free University of Bozen/Bolzano, TU Berlin and Hochschule Berlin Weißensee, in seminars, workshops and symposia.
A vision? Voilà, a vision
Our objective is to attempt, in a world that is daily becoming more tightly packed, to work in democratically created teams, together with other professors, students, alumni and doctoral students. In so doing, our aim is to establish long-term, stable personal relationships based on trust – something that is infinitely more valuable than institutional cooperation agreements.